Online Medieval Sources Bibliography

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Source Details

Formisano, Luciano, ed., La Destructioun de Rome (Plain Texts Series, 8. London: Anglo-Norman Text Society) Read this source online

Text name(s): La Destructioun de Rome

Number of pages of primary source text: 34


Dates: 1200 - 1300

Archival Reference: Hannover Niedersächsische Landesbibliothek IV.578

Original Language(s): 

  • Anglo-Norman


  • Original language included.

Translation Comments: 

Geopolitical Region(s): 

  • Spain
  • France
  • Europe
  • England
  • Italy

County/Region: Rome

Record Types: 

  • Literature - Verse

Subject Headings: 

  • Muslims / Islam
  • Literature - Epics, Romance
  • Crusades
  • Conversion
  • War - Chivalry
  • Saints - Cults / Relics
  • Historiography


  • Bibliography
  • Introduction


This diplomatic edition complements an earlier critical edition by the same author (1981). La Destructioun de Rome serves as a prologue to Fierabras, a chanson de geste which relates the eponymous hero’s conversion to Christianity after being defeated when Charlemagne seeks vengeance for the sacking of Rome. La Destructioun thus tells of that earlier invasion, accomplished when Fierebras and his father King Balan sail from Spain to Italy, raid Rome and leave the city in shambles, taking its holy relics. La Destructioun is written in 21 Alexandrine laisses, the first eleven of which date to the early 13th century and the last ten from the middle of the same century. BL Egerton 3028 (mid 14th c.) follows the same arrangement of preceding Fierabras with La Destructioun de Rome.

Introduction Summary: 

Formisano’s introduction (2 pages) describes the Hannover MS, the text’s verse form, and the Fierabras literary tradition. A brief bibliography (1 page) accompanies the introduction.

Cataloger: rj